The rescue team of the German civil protec­tion organ­i­sa­tion @fire was able to save two people alive from several collapsed apart­ment blocks in the city of Kahra­man­maras (Turkey) early this morning.

The 17-member search and rescue team (USAR) had set off with the two rescue dogs from Adana airport to the town of Kahra­man­maras in the south­ern part of Anato­lia on Tues­day. With part of the main commu­ni­ca­tion roads destroyed, it was an ardu­ous jour­ney over snow-covered roads in the moun­tains. In the after­noon, the USAR team reached the heav­ily destroyed city and set up their base of operations.

Imme­di­ately, the explo­ration of the area and the first search and rescue measures were started. Several people were located in several collapsed apart­ment blocks and build­ings. In the early morn­ing hours, two people were already rescued alive from the rubble in coop­er­a­tion with the local emer­gency services. The rescue of the other people located in the debris struc­tures is ongoing.

@fire contin­ues to support the oper­a­tion of the Reception/Department Centre (RDC) at Adana Airport with three addi­tional oper­a­tional staff. The arriv­ing inter­na­tional search and rescue teams are regis­tered and coor­di­nated there. The RDC is thus taking on a first impor­tant task in coor­di­nat­ing inter­na­tional aid under the banner of the United Nations Inter­na­tional Search and Rescue Advi­sory Group (INSARAG).

On Monday evening, at the request of the Turk­ish Embassy and in coor­di­na­tion with the German Foreign Office, the rescue team of the German aid organ­i­sa­tion @fire set out from Frank­furt Airport for the Turk­ish earth­quake region with 17 volun­teer disas­ter relief work­ers and two rescue dogs.

@fire - Inter­na­tionaler Katas­tro­phen­schutz Deutsch­land e. V. is a non-profit civil protec­tion orga­ni­za­tion that has been provid­ing rapid emer­gency aid world­wide follow­ing devas­tat­ing natural disas­ters since 2002. Respon­ders are specially trained in wild­land fire­fight­ing (WFF) and search and rescue of buried victims after earth­quakes (USAR). All of the more than 400 members are involved in national and inter­na­tional disas­ter relief on a volun­tary and unpaid basis. The civil protec­tion orga­ni­za­tion was clas­si­fied as the world’s first Light USAR Team by the United Nations Inter­na­tional Search and Rescue Advi­sory Group (INSARAG) in 2021 and oper­ates accord­ing to inter­na­tional stan­dards. Fund­ing for oper­a­tions, train­ing, and equip­ment is primar­ily donor-funded.

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